tv MSNBC Live MSNBC October 18, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
campaign style speech urging republicans to pass his plans even bit by bit to help struggling americans get back to work. this stop in jamestown is his last in north carolina before hits bus tour rolls on to virginia. the president will call on congress to pass a $35 billion piece of his bill to help keep teachers and first responders on the job. >> we face a choice in this country right now. i want to work with republicans in any way possible to create jobs right now, when we are in a time that's difficult. we can't afford to play politics. when we are in a time that's difficult, we should try to find common ground. >> nbc's kristin welker is live for us in jamestown, north carolina. what is the president looking to accomplish here? where does he go next? >> reporter: hey, there rs veronica. well, in terms of what he is hoping to michigan. he will be talking about his jobs plan. he will be pushing for that $35
billion component that heel argue will put teachers and first responders back to work. if yesterday is any indication, he is now firmly planted in campaign mode. he really lashed out at republicans specifically saying that they had failed the people for not passing his jobs will. he also said that their jobs plan was all about deregulation and basically letting wall street do whatever it wants. that seemed to be a little bit of a veiled comment trying to tap into some of that occupy wall street anger that we have seen spread all across the country. republicans weren't having it. they wasted no time firing back. senator john mccain had some harsh words yesterday on the senate floor and again today for the president, take a listen. >> there has been a lot of talk or certainly part of the talk radio and television about the bus tour that the president is
on and a lot of it is centered around the bus. i'm not going to discuss that anymore, except to say that in 2008, when i ran for president, i didn't need a bus to be paid for and billed to the government and taxpayers of the united states. >> certainly, fireworks all around. getting back to the bus tour, the president faces new head winds today. according to a new "usa today" gal gallup poll, 78% blame wall street. 87% washington. then, he heads to emporia, virginia, where we expect to hear sem lar words from the president. these two states, veronica, are real little key to the president's re-election. he won both back in 2008. they had typically been red.
in fact, a democrat hasn't won virginia since 1964. president obama flipped both states back in 2008 but now his support here is really waning, especially amongst independent voters. independents in virginia, 62% disapprove of the job the president is doing. he is really trying to reach out to some independent voters on this three-day pus tour and shore up his support for his base. veronica? >> thank you. we will be bringing you the president's remarks as well as the vice president's as soon as they happen. tonight, the gop faces off in vaugs with all eyes on the sernlging herman cain and whether or not he can hold on to front-runner status. cain in a virtual dead heat. cane is up 19 points. if you are wondering where that came from, look no further than
rick perry, now down 19 points from last month. joining us now is dana mill bank and jim vanderhai, executive editor of politico. thank you for joining me, both of you. >> good morning. >> dana, let's start with you. how important is it for herman cain. is he going to be the punching bag or the pinata here for all the other candidates? >> i think you can think of herman cain is the pizza and everybody wants a slice of him tonight. it could get kind of messy. herman cain has been getting more coverage at each debate as he rises in the polls to this sort of improbable place here. everybody expects that he will be punctured and begin to fall apart. he has shown he is not quite up to sfeed on the issues. it is getting very difficult to predict how this republican race turns out. people are rising and falling so quickly because it is so
volatile. certainly, the conventional wisdom would say there is no way he can hold on to this position. >> let's bring jim in here. herman cain has said, he isn't strong on foreign policy. you probably were watching on sunday during "meet the press." he said he hadn't heard of neat owe conservative movement. the last debate was about the economy. could his experience here really hurt him? >> he is now number one in a lot of the national polls and state polls. he has to groop that he prove h. when you say you have never heard of the fight over neoconservatism. virtually every republican is very familiar with the intricacies of that debate. it comes on top of all this confusion of whether he has or wants any advisories, about whether or not he wants to electrocute illegal immigrants. it might be funny on the trail.
it is not funny on whether or not this guy has what it takes to be president. every single person on stage has an incentive to go after him and gee after him in a very direct way. romney, because he wants to protect his front-runner status. every other candidate because they want to be the anybody but romney candidate, which 75% of the republican lec terror rat seems to want. >> what do you think he needs to do snont. >> tonight, he needs to be able to stand up there and show that he is growing quickly as a candidate, that he is filling out his agenda beyond 9-9-9. that he is ready for these attacks that are clearly going to come at him. we have seen in in recent debates when you are ready or not ready. romney is always ready for the attacks. rick perry has not seen to know some of the attacks are coming and he gives thee cringe worthy responses. will cain be prepared for it and own the stage that gifts come forth to the conservatives that
find him appealing but have real questions about his viability. >> let's take the conversation over to dana. what do you think the statgy should be here for him? >> he has gone a long way, herman cain has, by being an outside outsider. there is a difference between being an outsider and a goof ball. there is danger people will begin to see him as the caricature on sat night live. a lot have seen him singing about pizza to the john lennon tune. it is great to be an outsider. it is not good to be a joke. the man has to show some gravitas tonight. you are going to have to have an afghanistan policy. you are going to have to get into the nitty-gritty and see what you are there for. >> this is david axlerod, a senior adviser to the president taking aim at mitt romney on "morning joe."
>> he says, i represent business but he represents really the wall street side of business in ways that, you know, he stripped out companies, outsourced jobs. >> there is also this photo that's going around by the dnc. there he is with money stuffed in his pockets. will these wall street ties be trouble for romney? >> they certainly could be trouble in a general election context. i don't think they are trouble now. they are a great source of wealth that gives his campaign a great financial edge. the big challenge for romney is one with conservatives. they don't really like him or consider him an authentic conservative. 75% of voters in almost every single poll want someone other than him, despite the fact he has been running as a professional presidential candidate for five years. if he hasn't won them yet, what
will it take to win them over? i think that's the big question for this race. that's why he has to be nervous. the reason he should be optimistic, is that there is nobody else on that stage to date that shows that they have long-term viability to romney and that they can raise money, fire up conservatives and be consistent enough. that's why all the eyes are on cian tonight and all eyes will be on perry as he resurges at some point. >> we will all be watching tonight, that is for sure. dana millbang and jim vanderhai. our own andrea mitchell will interview republican candidate, jon huntsman, at 1:00 p.m. eastern. scenes of jubilation in the gaza strip where people continue to fill the streets celebrating a massive prisoner exchange, all in exchange for one of their soldiers. the 25-year-old is back home in israel five years after being taken captive by palestinian
hamas militants. not everyone is welcoming the exchange. john ray joins us live from tel-aviv. is the motivation for this swap being criticized? >> reporter: the motivation is not being criticized on the israeli side. this deal is backed by very, very large majority of israelis. as i watch the television here, israeli television, it is broadcasting pictures of israelis celebrating homecoming to his little village home in the north of israel. those people support the deal. even those believe that the price is a very, very high price being paid. more than 1,000 palestinian prisoners, almost 500 released in this series of closely coreographed moves. those that captured him five-and-a-half years ago are claiming this as a victory.
they are saying their hard-line stance is what has brought israel to the negotiating table to release all prisoners for just one man. many analysts are saying that as a result of boosting the pos somethings of i amilitant organization, the wider prospects for peace in this troubled region have been pushed back even further down the road. >> john ray in tel-aviv. thank you so much for joining us by phone today. the racing community is still morning the tragic loss of champion driver, dan wheldon, and some of their most popular drivers voicing their concerns about the track. george lewis is live in las vegas and joins us now. george? >> reporter: wheldon was racing for a $5 million prize. to get that, he had to start in the back of the pack. 34th among 34 cars, work his way to the front and finish first. the questions being raised now are, were there too many cars on the track and was there too much
competitive pressure on wheldon? >> this is an oval track, 1 1/2 miles designed for nascar, not indy cars. some nascar drivers, jimmy johnson, a five-time winner, has expressed concern about these cars racing on oefls. >> i know how dangerous those cars are. yesterday was proof to the danger of those vehicles on ovals. you are just creating situations to get the car off the ground at a high rate of speed. you can't control the car when it is off the ground. hopefully, i hate, hate, hate that this tragedy took place. hopefully, they can learn some things from it and make it far safer on ovals somehow. >> so, as all these safety concerns are being raised, we asked indy car, the organizer of sunday's race for response. they declined comment so far. veronica? >> george lewis in las vegas. thank you. well, he may be the political flavor of the month right now. soaring in the polls and
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jooirksz. texas congressman ron paul is out with a new plan he says will cut $1 trillion during his first year in the oval office from federal spending, and wars. they took a backseat on the 2012 trail. herman cain and michele bachmann both made appearances in arizona ahead of tonight's debate. the minnesota congresswoman brought a big name into the political conversation with her tele-town hall featuring donald trump.
and herman cain has a musical side we are seeing more of in this 1991 video. the current presidential candidates rendition of john lennon's imagine at the omaha press club. ♪ ♪ imagine there's no pizza i couldn't if i tried ♪ well, 20 years later, herman cain is still joking around. not everyone is laughing. immigration is sure to be front and center in tonight's debate in nevada. he finds himself explaining a joke he made about installing an electric fence on the border that would kill illegal immigrants. >> i apologize if it offended
anyone. >> i don't apologize of using a combination of a fence. it might be eelectrified. i am not walking away from that. should i be concerned about the people that want to sneak in america? that wasn't directed at people that are already here legally. it wasn't directed at them. so what's the beef? >> cain made those remarks in an appearance with vocal sheriff joe arpaio from arizona. the sheriff had his own opinion of the joke. >> he told a joke. >> he just said that the fence might be electric. >> i don't know. i got an electric fence. it doesn't kill people. it shocks you. >> we are going to have more on herman cain in a moment. we want to get you live to vice president, joe biden, speaking in york, pennsylvania. let's take a listen. >> you guys don't call them the county council.
you call them the county commissioners. i was a county commissioner years ago. [ applause ] >> that's why i ran for the united states senate. that job was too hard. they know exactly where you live. it is one of the most underrated jobs in america. but, folks, look, i know all of you. i say to all the elected officials, democrat and republicans, we are all struggling under very difficult budget times. it makes your job harder and more difficult to provide services for the american people and people in your district. i am telling you here that we are going to get through this. you know, when president barack obama and i came to office before i lowered my right hand on that magnificent january 20th day, looking at a couple million people out there, we had already lost that day. we had already lost up to that day, 3.5 million jobs. private sector jobs in the previous six months. the economy and the last quarter
of the year of the last administration shrunk nearly 89%, almost historic drop. before we could get our legislative agenda in place, before we could say what we wanted to do to try to deal with this problem, america, the u.s. economy had lost $16 trillion. the middle class was devastated. they saw their plans go up in smoke. >> we are going to continue to monitor this press conference with the vice president in york, pennsylvania and, instead, now take you to president obama who is speaking at jamestown, north carolina, at the ymca there talking about his american jobs act. >> give her a big round of applause. [ applause ] i want to also acknowledge your
congressman, mel watt, in the house. [ applause ] mel is doing an outstanding job each and every day. i also want to acknowledge your mayor, keith voex, for the fine work he is doing. he said there were some pretty good golf courses down here and some fine restaurants. so i am going to have to sample both the next time i am here. i had a chance to talk to linda and a group of other teachers before i came out here. i just want to say thank you to her, not only for the introduction but also for teaching. i got a chance to learn about the extraordinary work that gilford technical community college is doing to train new teachers and place them in
schools where kids need them the most. one of the best ways to make a difference in the life of our nation is to make a difference in the life of every child. so i want to thank all the teachers who are in the audience for answering the call, because you are making our nation stronger. [ applause ] >> now, you may have heard we are taking a little road trip this week. it's a chance to get out of washington. i must admit, i'm traveling not in the usual r.v. the bus we got parked outside is secret service did a full going over. it is decked out pretty good.
it is a wonderful opportunity to get out of washington and hit the road. we stopped for a little north carolina barbecue and sweet tea along the way. some hush puppies, don't tell michelle exactly what was on the menu. the main reason we are out here in addition to seeing extraordinary views and meeting the wonderful people. there is just something about north carolina. people are just gracious and kind, even the folks who don't vote for me are nice to me. that's just a nice thing about this state. the most important thing i wanted to do was to hear from people like you. it doesn't seem like your voices are being heard in washington right now. >> times are tough for a lot of
americans. here in north carolina, there are a lot of folks who have been spending months looking for work and still haven't found it yet. a lot of people are doing their best just to get by. maybe they have been able to keep their job but hours have been cut back or some of their pay and benefits have been rolled back. they are people who are deciding, you know what, we can't afford taking that night out with the family, because we have to save on gas or we have to make the mortgage or we have to postpone our retirement to make sure our child can go to college. it is tough. it is hard. i think most americans know that our economic problems weren't caused overnight. so they recognize they won't be solved overnight, even before the most recent economic crisis. [ applause ]
>> a lot of these challenges took a decade to build up. in some cases, a longer than a decade before the worst financial crisis since the great depression. wages and incomes have been flat for the vast majority of americans for a decade. so people were struggling even before the crisis hit. what that means is it is going to take time for us to rebuild on america where hard work and responsibility are important. it will take time to rebuild an america where we restore security and opportunity for folks in the middle class or trying to get into the middle class. it is going to take time to rebuild an economy that's built to last and built to compete. an economy that works for everybody, not just for folks at the top.
[ applause ] >> rebuilding this america where everybody has a fair shake and everybody gives their fair share, an economy where you know if you do the right thing and you are working hard and educate yourself and your kids and contributing back to the community, that you know that you will be able to enjoy that piece of the american dream. restoring the economy will take some time but we are going to get it done. we are going to keep fighting and keep working to put people back to work, to help middle class americans get ahead and to give our economy the jolt that it needs. there are things we can do right now to help our economy. that's why i sent congress the
american joc american jobs act. this is a job built with proposal that in the past have been supported by democrats and republicans. it is paid for. by asking our wealthiest citizens, folks who make more than $1 million a year, to pay their fair share. independent economists have said this jobs bill would create nearly $2 million jobs. that's not my opinion. that's not the opinion of people who work for me. the people that study the economy for a living are telling us this jobs bill would put people back to work right away and grow our economy at a time when the recovery has weakened. some folks in washington don't seem to be listening. they don't seem to be listening.
just last week, all the republicans in the senate got together and blocked this jobs bill. they refused to even debate it. keep in mind, one poll found that 63% of americans support the ideas in this jobs bill. 100% of republicans in the senate voted against it. the majority of the american people think it makes sense for us to put teachers back in the classroom and construction workers back to work and tax breaks for small businesses and tak tax breaks for folks who are hiring veterans. we have 100% of republicans in the senate. that doesn't make any sense. some people asked me yesterday why i was visiting republican areas of north carolina. i said, first of all, it's because i just like north
carolina. second of all, i'm not the democratic president or the republican president. i'm the president. [ applause ] >> third of all, i don't care if you are a republican or a democrat, because we are all americans. we are in this together. we don't need a republican johns act or a democratic jobs act. we need a jobs act. we need to put people back to work right now. as i said, the ideas we put forward are ideas that in the
past had been supported by democrats and republicans. so the question is, what makes it different this time. other than that i proposed it. let me try to be fair. the republicans did put up their own jobs bill. they called it the real american jobs act. so they don't get points for originality but they put out the plan. and i said, okay, let's see what you got. nobody has a bigger interest than me in seeing democrats and republicans co-op per rate to get some stuff done. i want that to happen. i said, let's see what you got. here is what the plan boils down to. we are going to gut environmental regulations. we are going to drill more. we are going to roll back wall
street reform. and we are going to repeal health care reform. now, that's a plan but it is not a jobs plan. if you are wondering, we can just do a little bit of comparison shopping right now. we will lift the hood and kick the tears and see our plan and their plan. the republican plan says what is standing between us and full employment is that we are preventing companies from polluting our air and water too much. we, on the other hand, have said, let's put teachers back in the classroom here in north carolina and all across the country who have been laid off because budgets have been tight at the state or local level. let's put construction workers
back to work building roads and schools all across north carolina and the country. let's put veterans back on the job. so those are two choices. their plan says we will be better off if we deny 30 million americans affordable health care choices and kick young people off their parents health insurance plans. our plan says we are better off if we give virtually every small business and worker in america a tax cut so that they have more money in their pockets to hire more workers and to spend more at those wonderful restaurants that the mayor talked about. their plan says we need to go back to the good old days before the financial crisis when wall street wrote its own rules. our plan says, we need to make it easier for small businesses on main street to grow and hire and push the economy forward.
so there is a contrast in approaches here. here is the kicker. remember that group of economists who said our jobs plan would create jobs. well, one of those same economists took a look at the republican plan and said it could cost us jobs. it wouldn't do much to help the economy now whether folks are hurting so batted. we can have an argument about how much regulation we should have. we can have an argument about health care. i think we did the right thing. [ applause ] >> but you can't pretend that creating dirtier air and water and fewer people on health care and less accountability on wall street is a jobs plan. i think more teachers in the classroom is a jobs plan. more construction workers
rebuilding our schools is a jobs plan. tax cuts for small business owners and working families is a jobs plan. that's the choice we face. it is up to you to decide which plan is the real american jobs act. i want to emphasize i want to work with republicans on ways to create jobs. last week, congress passed a trade agreement that will allow us to start selling more goods into korea. we buy a lot of hyundais and kias. i want them to buy some fords and chevys and chryslers. wherever we have the possibility to work together to move this economy forward, i am going to seize on that opportunity. that's the kind of progress on the economy we can keep on making. to do so, we have to focus lesson trying to satisfy one wing of one party.
we have to focus more on doing what it takes to help the american people. [ applause ] that's why we are going to give folks in congress another chance. they said no the first time. we are going to give them another chance to step up to the plate and do the right thing. we are going to give them another chance to do their jobs and look out for your jobs. it may be that the bill was too big the first time. there was just too much stuff and they weren't clear about what the jobs act would do. it was confusing to them. so what we are going to do is break it up into separate pieces. we are going to let them vote on each piece one at a time. that way, you can be crystal clear on where you stand on all the elements of the jobs bill.
the first vote that we asked congress -- >> there you have, we have been listening live to the president as he fires up americans for the next step he will take with his plans for economic growth. he is in north carolina right now and heads to virginia later today. it looks a lot like 2008. vice president joe biden is in the battleground of pennsylvania also talking jobs. you see him there live on the screen. both he and the vice president hitting on the plight of the middle class, the crisis of unemployment and pressing republicans to pass a critical piece of this jobs bill. joining us now is mark lamont hill, associate professor at columbia university, also, the host of our world with black ep enterprise and john theory, president of quinn gillespy strategy. republicans are calling it a campaign stunt. he is out there fighting for teachers and first responders.
is this a message that's going to resonate with independents and democrats struggling through this economy. >> absolutely. republicans are right that this is partly motivated by the campaign. i wouldn't call it a stunt. i think the president is generally interested in healing the middle class and creating jobs and protecting the vulnerable. i think that is a good thing. this is the very thing the president needs, a concrete plan. he is saying, look, i'm doing my job. now, it is time to get the other branches to do theirs. >> john, let's bring you in here and talk about that point. senator mitch mcconnell, he was speaking early whyi earlier on the hill. >> the president is trying to use this displeasure with washington for political gain. it is perfectly obvious he would find the path of division appealing. the number one issue we face, jobs and the economy, the president's policies haven't worked at advertised. throw another bailout together,
slap the word jobs on the cover page and dare people to vote against it. >> so that's the rhetoric the president is facing when he gets back to washington. do you expect some republicans in the senate to get behind pieces of this plan and start producing results? the president was just speaking. he says he wants a bipartisan effort. what do you think is this. >> i do think there can be a bipartisan effort. i think air ceric cantor has sa let's break it up, get the good pieces and pass it and get something done. as soon as eric cantor said that, the president attacked him. what the president is obviously doing is trying to campaign. i think mark is absolutely right. this is part of the obama for president campaign tour. you have got joe biden in a swing state, president obama in a swing state and they are trying to do the best job they can to get themselves reelected. they are clearly worried mostly about their own job. i think right now if we can break this up. if we do take eric cantor's
advice and break it up into small bits and get away with the stupid stuff like the tax increases which will kill jobs. there are some good things in there. i think we can get some bipartisan agreements. the president has to drop the campaign. >> we were doing so well for a minute, man. that's the problem. the president is committed to dividing this up and getting the good stuff through. the problem is, republicans don't seem to accept that one of the good things is raising revenue, forcing people to pay their fair share. that's what the president wants to do. i acknowledge it is a campaign-motivated move at this moment. that doesn't mean he is wrong. the moral and economic calculus are incorrect. i am glad to see joe biden here in pennsylvania, talking to mayor nutter, doing other things to push this legislation through. we have to force them to recognize they can't win every battle. it anything, he has been do conciliatory to republicans. >> he has to be conciliatory,
because that's where the republicans are running the house. he has got to move to the middle. he is not. >> he has been in the middle. >> he is with the wall street protester guys. he is on the far left. >> you have to get a new script, man. he is in the middle. he may gesture to the left at times. he has caved to boehner on everything. there is no way he is to the far left on these issues, health care legislation, debt ceiling negotiations, tax increases, not repealing the bush tax cuts. he has been in the middle. independent voters will see that and vote for him. >> that's not what the polls show. the polls show he is in terrible straits with the independent voters. his numbers are going down. he is doing these campaign things and that's why they are not working. >> gentlemen, both of you, i'm sorry. i have to jump in here. we are running out of time. >> i was just about to win. >> both of you have very good points. it is not a competition. thank you, mark lamont hill and
john fury, thanks so much for your time. as the president's job tour rolls on, seven gop contenders plan to face off and one expected to take the spotlight, herman cain. he has had to backtrack from a comment he has made that a fence would eelectrify illegal immigrants. joining me now is michael daily. "citizen kane" is h citizen cain is his latest article. he has said he will make some comments that some people won't like. how big of a problem is this policy going to be for him moving forward? >> even in his book, he applauds the arizona immigration policy. he says that his candidacy proves it is not about color. it is about the content of our ideas. the problem for him is when you look at the content of his ideas, there are some notions
that i think will put off a lot of people as much as they want someone in the white house. i think they will not be so sure they want him there. >> cain says his supporters latch on to this simplicity, if you will, of his plans. he told you his messages are spontaneous. i guess he thinks of them as he goes. why do you think that cain has surged in the polls? >> apart from him being a very likeable, decent, humerorous gu. there is this simplicity. his notion is that racism didn't stop me. poverty didn't stop me. he is saying that, therefore, it shouldn't stop anybody else. so it makes all the problems that are so daunting about the poor in this country and about education in this country and
about inequality in this country, all of the sudden, he i the guy that can dispel that. here is the simple answer. instead of, yes, we can, it is like, yes, i can. instead of we shall overcome, it is, i shall overcome. that is essentially his message. >> we appreciate your time today, michael daily is a special correspondent for news week and the daily basis. michael, thank you. >> thank you. >> why not send your most popular asset out on the campaign trail? the obama 2012 secret weapon is slowly starting to make herself visible out on the stunt. we will look at the first ladies role during this election season. that's coming up. ♪ ♪ ♪ when your chain of supply ♪ goes from here to shanghai, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ chips from here, boards from there ♪ ♪ track it all through the air, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ clearing customs like that ♪ hurry up no time flat that's logistics. ♪
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if lipitor's been working for you, stay with it. lipitor may be available for as little as $4 a month with the lipitor co-pay card. terms and conditions apply. learn more at lipitorforyou.com. some sad breaking news to report to you right now. police in maryland believe they have found the body of 11-year-old william mcclain. the maryland boy went missing last week after his mother, jane mcquan, was found dead in the bedroom of her germantown
condominium. his remains were found in a wooded area of the county. her estranged husband, curtis maurice lopez was arrested and charged in her death. some breaking news to report to you. very sad story. 11-year-old william mcquan, police believe they have found his remains. we are going to continue to follow this developing story and bring you the latest. police searching for that missing baby girl in missouri say the child's parents are under scrutiny. the concern stems from debra bradley's recent admission that she was drunk when they are ten-year-old disappeared from her crib on october 4th. the family's attorney denied either parent has anything to hide. >> they have cooperated as recently as yesterday, they consented of a soch of their car. they consented to these sniff dogs coming to the property. when you are cooperating and you are being interviewed and a detective within an hour or two of the babies disappearance starts accusing you of murder,
it really doesn't do much for the cooperative spirit. >> in response to those comments, kansas city police issued a statement saying the parents level of cooperation has not been what it needs to be to find this child. a jaw-dropping moment caught on tape in detroit. a drunken father allegedly used his 9-year-old daughter as his designated driver taking him to a gas station. the visibly intoxicated father even boasted about his daughter's driving ability to an attendant before they left to return home. >> a 911 call led police to the vehicle where they arrested the father on child abuse charges.
president obama about to unleash his secret weapon on the campaign trail. that's next. well, thank you both for coming. oh, thank you so much. i love the vermeer collection. vermeer? dutch painter? only painted, like, 34 paintings? oh what an odd name. you've got like five of them in your hallway. those were actually in the attic when we moved in.
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there are new reports today that president obama's re-election campaign is ready to deploy its secret weapon. in 2008 and 2010 michelle obama hit the campaign trail to show her husband's family values and dedication to the country. already this year she has been drumming up donations, holding 18 fund-raisers since may 18th for the president. joining me now is nia henderson. how would you define the role of a first lady in an election campaign and how do you think michelle obama has fit into that? >> she has fit into quite
perfectly with the traditional role of a first wife, and that is to humanize the candidate. she has been on about 18 different trips, mostly low-key fund-raisers, i'm sure she'll switch over to a more active and visible role on the campaign trail. for now, she's been trotting out what has been her campaign speech, that's antidotes about the first family what it's like about the kids to grow up, what kind of father barack obama is. him coming home and campaigning and talking about the people he's met across the country. that's her role and she's been quite good at it so far. one of the lessons we learned over this last week is how hard that is. you've seen anita perry out there for rick perry, her husband, running for the republican nomination. she had some stumbles. she talked about how brutalizing a process it's been. and it's something that michelle obama went through in 2008.
political wives out there now have a lesson to learn from what michelle obama had done. this is what the first lady told a donor in rhode island. believe me, barack knows what it means when a family struggles. he knows, as a father, what it means to want your children to grow up with no limits to their dreams. do you think the first lady could help with this? should she get involved? >> she certainly could. you have seen the white house do this, the democrats more generally do this. sort of embrace at least a part of this, this frustration about economic inequality. one of the ways that the first lady is going to be able to help the president is gin up his base. this look like it will be an election about reengaging the base and talking to them on the issues most important to them. that's, i think, where she'll come in. she'll talk about president obama as a family man, as a person who really identifies
with the issues of single moms. he, of course, was raised by his grandparents. so, i think that's where you will see her come in. really humanize him and try to reenergize some of that passion. >> what about going on the attack? the president has sort of taken jabs at gop candidates. is this something you think we might see from michelle obama. >> absolutely not. the east wing is always insistent she will do more of the soft sell. she doesn't lying to engage in the nastier, partisan parts of politics. even with the health care, she always talked about specifics, how this would be helpful for women. that's what she will do more frequently. she doesn't want to get into the divisive aspects of politics and ab partisan figure. >> nia malika henderson, thank you. good to see you, thanks. that will do it for me today. i'll be back here tomorrow at
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very good day to you. i'm richard lui. president obama hits battleground states talking tough about passing the jobs bill. >> keep in mind, one poll found that 63% of americans support the ideas in this jobs bill. but 100% of republicans in the senate voted against it. >> the president heads to virginia next. he says he is giving republicans another chance to fix unemployment and blasting their plans, some gop lawmakers are not taking that lightly. >> the president is now traveling attacking the republican plan. >> members of congress -- >> reporter: he's attacking more than the plan. >> maybe they couldn't understand the whole thing all at once. >> reporter: in north carolina monday, the president launched a new jobs bill strategy aimed at the gop. >> so, we're going to break it up into bite-sized